Review "rural kid" essay?

<p>My son (nervously) asks for review of his essay...common application, personal statement...in his application for his #1 choice LAC, he is "positioning" himself as an ambitious, smart rural kid with leadership and interesting ECs (including archery elk hunting). Thank you!</p>

<p>"Listening to advice and going after opportunities has been in my family's blood for generations. My great-great-great grandfather emigrated to the United States to pursue the opportunity to settle in the west and homestead a farm. He was given advice that good land would be found by looking at the badger holes. The badger (a burrowing mammal) digs holes over six feet deep, bringing up the soil and giving a view of what lies beneath. If the soil is white then the soil is too alkaline; when there is good dark soil coming out of the badger hole, that is a good place for growing crops. My grandfather selected great land, homesteading in north-central Oregon in 1882. This land is still productive today and we see this every year at harvest time. </p>

<p>I have grown up on this family farm and learned the lessons of listening to advice that is given by caring family and friends. This advice has given me a chance to make decisions to develop self-confidence and maturity. I am an independent-thinking person and like to follow my own paths. When I began talking about being a lawyer for my future career, people gave me the advice to study and investigate the field of law. So I began to seek out opportunities to learn about being a lawyer. </p>

<p>My first legal experience was to attend a summer program put on by the National Student Leadership Conference. The session, entitled "Law and Advocacy", gave me a chance to participate in a mock trial with other students from around the USA. I got a chance to hear from professional law teachers, prepare my case, and present it in front of a judge. Doing closing arguments made up my mind that I love the legal profession and would have a blast pursuing it as a career. </p>

<p>After that great learning experience, I followed advice to develop an internship with the local District Attorney's office. I talked with my guidance counselor and he allowed me to use this as a work experience class. I have followed the D.A. on cases, filed reports, done research, and sat in on some very interesting trials. Meeting prominent lawyers and judges has also been a treat while working at the courthouse. I have gathered great information and insight into the legal field which should help immensely in my future. </p>

<p>Heeding advice and making good decisions have been important values in my family for generationg, and I have taken advantage of some of the legal learning opportunities that have come my way. Participating alongside the District Attorney, researching a case, and being part of a mock trial have been experiences that have opened up my mind to the possibilities of a career as a lawyer. If you asked, my great-great-great grandfather would be proud of me for listening to advice and taking advantage of opportunities."</p>

<p>I am not an expert or an admissions representative , BUT I love the badger. I</p>

<p>love how it ties in to your rural roots and specifically your connection to the</p>

<p>land itself (harvest time).Do you really think the best use of that absolutely </p>

<p>wonderful intro and theme is to completely skip undergrad issues at the</p>

<p>LAC ? I don't know how effective that is, and I think they might be a little</p>

<p>more interested in what YOU can add to the "pot" in terms of flavor and </p>

<p>substance . Future career choices don't tell me much about who you are, </p>

<p>and to be way too blunt are really not very interesting. I think I have a </p>

<p>better feeling about your adventurous ancestor than I do about you. I would</p>

<p>ditch the professional aspirations and concentrate on YOUR search for </p>

<p>badger holes. As always, just one man's opinion.</p>

<p>BTW, although I have a specific way to tie this all together, I wouldn't offer </p>

<p>it to my D at this point in the process so I won't offer it to your S. Based</p>

<p>upon what I've seen so far, I am confident he'll see it himself. Tell him good </p>

<p>luck.</p>

<p>I agree with Curmudgeon. (And I'm no expert either.) The introduction is wonderful. I would think, though, that the rest of it--NSLC and the DA's office--is information that can be found elsewhere in the application, and thus not the best subject for the essay which should be more personal.</p>

<p>Same reaction here. I'd like the rural theme to be developed throughout the essay rather than only in connection to the great great grandfather. What did it mean to grow up on a farm?</p>

<p>While, to the student, living on a farm may not appear unique, it will make him stand out among applicants from urban and suburban backgrounds. He should emphasize that experience as much as possible. So he should add vignettes of HIS life on a farm, not just his ancestor's.</p>

<p>I also think that the gist of the essay, listening to advice, undermines the claim that the student has learned to be independent. >> I have grown up on this family farm and learned the lessons of listening to advice that is given by caring family and friends. This advice has given me a chance to make decisions to develop self-confidence and maturity. I am an independent-thinking person and like to follow my own paths. >> </p>

<p>What it seems the student should be saying is that he blends self-initiative with the good sense to listen to advice, but then come to his own conclusions and follow his own path. Perhaps he could tie this with examples of how he has done so on the farm. </p>

<p>Good luck to your son. He seems like a fluent writer and should not have too much problem revising his essay.</p>